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Apple Suspends Fortnite Maker Epic Games’ App Store Account

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Key Points

  • Apple said Friday it has suspended the developer account of Epic Games. It follows on Monday evening a temporary restraining order in which a judge ruled that Apple could block Fortnite but not the developer account of Epic.
  • The games of Epic, including Fortnite, have been a massive success, including through Apple’s App Store.
  • Apple said that it gave Epic Games 14 days to update Fortnite to follow its requirements on the app store, after which it will suspend the account for Epic Games. Apple said the practice is standard for all developers.
  • Visit The Financial Today’s homepage for more stories.

Apple said Friday it has suspended the developer account of Epic Games. It follows on Monday evening a temporary restraining order in which a judge ruled that Apple could block Fortnite but not the developer account of Epic.

However, Apple said it terminated an Epic developer account that does not include the Unreal Engine that third-party developers use to create 3D games, keeping the change in line with the judge’s order.

We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases,” Apple said.

“The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store. This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.”

An Epic Games spokesperson pointed CNBC to a blog post with earlier comments, including: “Apple is asking that Epic revert Fortnite to exclusively use Apple payments. Their proposal is an invitation for Epic to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS, suppressing free market competition and inflating prices. As a matter of principle, we won’t participate in this scheme.”

The games of Epic, including Fortnite, have been a massive success, including through Apple’s App Store.

“We estimate that, since January 2012, Epic Games’ mobile titles have been downloaded more than 159 million times across Apple’s App Store globally, generating approximately $1.2 billion in consumer spending,” Stephanie Chan, mobile insights strategist for Sensor Tower, an app analytics company, told CNBC. “Thirty percent of this revenue, or approximately $360 million, went to Apple.”

The conflict between Apple and Epic Games began after Epic introduced inside Fortnite a new direct purchasing option that circumvented Apple’s 30 percent revenue cut from in-app purchases. On the same day, Apple pulled the app from the App Store and, soon after, filed a lawsuit against Epic Games.

Apple said that it gave Epic Games 14 days to update Fortnite to follow its requirements on the app store, after which it will suspend the account for Epic Games. Apple said the practice is standard for all developers.

The suspension means that Epic Games will no longer be able to submit games or updates, such as Fortnite, to the iOS and Mac App Stores for publication. Although people who have the game already installed can still play it, they just won’t get any updates. Players can’t buy any content in the game, either. They are also unable to play the latest Fortnite season which was introduced recently.

Apple said that users of Fortnite were directed to contact AppleCare by Epic Games and that those requests caused quality refund problems and support problems for Apple users worldwide.

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